Friday, Nov. 7, thousands of California residents took to the streets in San Francisco at 5:30pm to protest the passage of Proposition 8 in Tuesday’s election, that banned same-sex marriage, which had been legalized earlier this year. Queer, trans, and straight allies all joined the march to express outrage over Prop 8 taking people’s equal rights away.
After the main march began, a small affinity group (including Ruckus staff and network) took action, joining hands and blockading Market Street at 9th, holding a banner reading "WE WILL NOT BE SILENT: REPEAL PROP 8".
Photo Credit: Raquella
Hundreds of supporters remained along the streets and sidewalks, chanting together, "Say No to Hate: Repeal Prop 8!", "What Do We Want? EQUAL RIGHTS! When Do We Want It? NOW!", and many others.
The group had already blocked traffic for over two hours, when the main march (which had proceeded to Dolores Park), heard about the action and marched all the way back to 9th and Market to join the street blockade.
The energy was high, and chanting was endless. After a brief sit-in behind the line of blockaders, the crowd collectively decided to push past the line of police lined up opposite the blockaders, and marched to City Hall, pouring onto the front steps and taking up the whole street in front. After about 30 minutes of the whole crowd chanting, and several impassioned speeches, the original affinity group led the crowd back to Market Street, and up to the Castro District. It was an unbelievable mass of energy, with thousands literally taking over San Francisco’s streets. Diners in restaurants curiously came out to the sidewalks, with many supporters joining in the march, to a chorus of "Whose Streets? OUR STREETS! Whose Rights? OUR RIGHTS!"
When the march reached 18th and Castro St. around 9pm, marchers sat down to occupy the intersection well into the night, listening to many individuals who became inspired to speak up. One woman spoke to the crowd, "As a straight black woman in America, I refuse to die before everyone has the same rights as I do!" There was even an improptu wedding ceremony for two women, with the entire crowd vowing their witness and pledging their support.
Before people started to trickle away into the night, the crowd decried that this was only the beginning, and pledged to continue to fight for equal rights through organizing friends and family. Announcements were made about upcoming protests this weekend at the Mormon Church in Oakland (to protest the Mormon Church’s $15 million dollar investment in the Yes on 8 campaign), and the State Capitol in Sacramento.
Read CBS Channel 5’s account of the protest and watch their news broadcast videos here: http://cbs5.com/local/proposition.8.protest.2.859454.html